TeamViewer is one of those applications that some people have heard about and love, while others have no idea what it is. At its core, TeamViewer is a remote control utility for Windows and OS X computers—and unlike Windows Remote Assistance (WRA), in my experience it works well and it’s extremely easy to get connected.

I first stumbled on TeamViewer when I couldn’t get WRA working to help my mom with a computer problem; trying to explain to a computer neophyte how to start WRA, save an invitation file, find the file they just saved, then email the file is not exactly a simple process. What makes it truly frustrating is when you go through all the steps and then the connection still doesn’t work. When WRA does work, I have no complaints, but my experience has been very hit or miss.

After trying for a few hours to get WRA working, I gave up and started looking for other options, and that’s when I found TeamViewer. Literally 15 minutes later, I had connected to the other laptop, fixed the problem (which involved making some registry edits), and we were done. The quick connect options on TeamViewer was particularly handy, as it skips past the installation process and lets you get straight to helping someone.

Long story short, after having used TeamViewer to help several friends and family members over the past month, I received a press release announcing the new TeamViewer 8 with Windows 8 support (available as of December 4). With Windows 8 adding a few new items to the mix—e.g. the Start Screen and Charms Bar—TeamViewer has been updated to provide access to these items through its menus. It might seem like a minor thing, but given the UI overhaul in Windows 8 it’s something that will likely prove necessary. Windows 8 isn’t the only OS with new features; on OS X, Retina displays are now supported. TeamViewer also has their remote access app available on iOS, Android, and Windows RT

The above features are available in all versions of TeamViewer 8. For the non-free (e.g. Business, Premium, and Corporate) versions, other new additions include an improved user management interface, connection reporting of all sessions, browser-based connections, session handover, improved remote printing (VPN is no longer required), deeper MS Outlook integration, transmission of remote sound and video (video will require a fair amount of bandwidth, naturally), and enhanced session recordings.

TeamViewer’s Magdalena Brzakala (Public Relations Manager), Andre Schindler (Business Development Manager), and Tom Carpenter (Account Manager) took some time today to run me through some of the new features, and basically everything worked as expected. The fully licensed version, while expensive, also adds some functionality that I can certainly see as being useful for IT shops in particular, as well as telecommuters or those who need access to their home data and documents. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest TeamViewer is unique in any of these areas, but I can say that it has worked well when I needed it and it’s definitely one of those utilities I now keep in my software toolkit.

Source: TeamViewer

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  • sdunfee - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Hi Jarred and readers,

    Have you ever tried Mikogo for web conferencing? We are compatible with Windows 8, in addition to Mac/Linux/iOS/Android. Take a look here - http://www.mikogo.com - and let me know if you have any questions or comments?

    Thanks!

    Spencer Dunfee
    Mikogo Team
    sdunfee@mikogo.com
    Reply
  • jabber - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    They really need to issue a small business licence.

    I'm a one man band and in order to get back the cost of the tool would take me a long time.

    I'd pay around $250.00 but the current pricing just doesn't work.

    You have to look elsewhere.
    Reply
  • asliarun - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Have you considered join.me?
    I use it for quick screen sharing and it works like a charm, even when VNC fails me sometimes.
    Reply
  • cpy - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    One thing that bugs me with TV8, is that it locks user account after closing remote session, and i need desktop to be unlocked for me to use what i use. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    You can set this in the options menu; the reason for this feature is if you happen to remote connect to a system, and say you're traveling and happen to lose connectivity. Imagine your sensitive data now being freely visible where you left it. With this setting, you now know that your system is locked if you get disconnected. Reply
  • Camikazi - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Thing I find odd is that it does that for one of my comps but the rest it leaves unlocked and I have no idea why that is. I have looked all over for a reason or a setting but I have found nothing. Reply
  • webmastir - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    I think I'm the only one who hates the word Retina. Just call it high resolution & stop putting it on a pedestal.

    :)
    Reply
  • Chapbass - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Glad I'm not the only one who came in thinking this... Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Nope, loads of people hate it. It's stupid. Typical Apple though. Reply
  • tim851 - Sunday, December 23, 2012 - link

    Yeah, typical Apple.

    Out of all the consumer electronics marketing terms, like HD Super AMOLED, 3D HyperReal Engine or PureMotion HD+ ... Retina is the worst.
    Reply

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